20 Bible Verses About Bearing Fruit

How to Bear Fruit

There was an apple tree in my backyard that I loved to climb as a kid. Nothing was as satisfying as reaching the highest branches and picking off an apple to eat as a reward—except that one day when I took a bite and found a worm inside. As we looked closer, larvae had infected all the apples on the tree, and soon after my unpleasant discovery, my dad chopped down the tree, and we used it for firewood. A tree that doesn’t bear fruit, or, in this case, bears rotten fruit, is a good-for-nothing tree.

Bearing fruit is a frequent metaphor to describe the Christian’s growth in Christlike character. In Galatians 5:22-23, Paul describes the fruit we should bear: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Those “fruits” are the essence of Christ’s character and what we should desire to grow into. Unlike the apple tree of my youth, we want to bear fruit that is in keeping with who we are. If we are in Christ, we will naturally bear the fruit, evidence, and proof that we belong to him.

How do we bear more fruit? First, we need to know what God’s Word says about it. Here are 20 verses that will be a good start for your study.

20 Bible Verses About Bearing Fruit

  1. John 15:5-8 (ESV)
    I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.  If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.  By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.

  2. Matthew 3:10 (ESV)
    Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

  3. Mathew 7:16 (ESV)
    You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?

  4. Galatians 5:22-23 (ESV)
    But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things, there is no law.

  5. Matthew 12:33-34 (ESV)
    Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, for the tree is known by its fruit. You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.

  6. Mathew 13:22-23 (ESV)
    As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”

  7. Matthew 21:19 (ESV)
    And seeing a fig tree by the wayside, he went to it and found nothing on it but only leaves. And he said to it, “May no fruit ever come from you again!” And the fig tree withered at once.

  8. Luke 3:8 (ESV)
    Bear fruits in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham.

  9. Luke 6:43-44 (ESV)
    For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, 44 for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thornbushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush.

  10. Luke 13:6-9 (ESV)
    And he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none.  And he said to the vinedresser, ‘Look, for three years now I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and I find none. Cut it down. Why should it use up the ground?’  And he answered him, ‘Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and put on manure.  Then if it should bear fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.’

  11. John 12:24 (ESV)
    Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.

  12. Genesis 1:22 (ESV)
    And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.”

  13. Genesis 49:22 (ESV)
    Joseph is a fruitful bough, a fruitful bough by a spring; his branches run over the wall.

  14. Colossians 1:10 (ESV)
    so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;

  15. Psalm 1:1-3 (ESV)
    Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law, he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.

  16. Romans 6:22 (ESV)
    But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life.

  17. John 15:16 (ESV)
    You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.

  18. 2 Peter 1:8 (ESV)
    For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

  19. Hebrews 12:11 (ESV)
    For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

The Secret is Abiding

The secret to bearing fruit is staying connected to the vine. When we cut off the branches of my childhood tree, they did not survive. Likewise, we must stay connected to Jesus, the vine, to survive and thrive. He is our life source! The vine provides all the nourishment and stability we need to bear fruit, more fruit, and much fruit (John 15:2). 

A branch doesn’t worry about producing fruit. It simply remains where it is, drawing upon the vine’s nourishment. Jesus says that we remain as branches connected to the vine and that apart from him, we can do nothing. As we enjoy union with Christ and read his Word, we stay connected, and in time, we will grow. 

John Piper reminds us,

“You can’t do anything without Christ. Abide in him! Not just your fruit depends on him, but your existence depends on him. There are no branches without a vine. When it says anything, it means anything: You can’t do anything apart from Christ. So abide in him for your life and your fruit and your all.”

Abiding with you,


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P.S. How do you bear more fruit? One way is to realize the riches of your union with Christ! Discover all that belongs to you as one who is united to Christ in this free download.

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